ONAP and 5G – the role of automation in 5G and beyond

I was thinking of writing a blogpost about Automation for some time. My colleagues and I just released a ONAP white paper and I encourage everyone to read this white paper. See the link at the bottom of the blogpost.

Woman looking at a laptop screen

Industry challenges and how automation can help  

The telecom industry has seen a tremendous transformation over the past decade or so, starting with separation of control and user plane, introduction of SDN, virtualization of applications and networks, and is now entering the cloud native phase. Mobile networks has also transformed from 3G to 4G based on IP architecture and is now moving to 5G. Every mobile generation has paved the way for new business models and services. 5G also will bring innovation in business models and new services.  

As underlying networks and applications transform to new architectures and technologies, this creates more complexity to operations and life cycle management of services. Automation is key to manage these complex networks, applications in various stages such as PNF (Physical Network Functions), VNF (Virtual Network Functions) and CNF (Cloud Native Network Functions), massive number of devices, different types of devices and services across many industries.  

Many of the Operations Support Systems are managing different networks in silos. To realize the full benefits from automation, a unified operational environment is needed. The Open Networking Automation Platform (ONAP) is an open source networking project that has been formed with the objective of developing a platform for greater orchestration and automation when it comes to managing these systems and addressing network silos. The goal of ONAP is to provide an operational environment or platform that is real-time, AI/ML influenced and provides policy driven orchestration and Automation, to introduce and manage new services and resources across their full life cycle in the entire network. 

Another challenge facing the industry is fragmentation in the orchestration and management initiatives.  To focus the industry effort towards automation convergence is required, as well as enabling an ecosystem between opensource and standards.  ONAP represents this convergence. 

In this white paper, we took a different approach to explain how ONAP can address those challenges. This paper also explains the convergence of network and service management, standards and regulations, ONAP direction, market momentum, and ONAP capabilities that can be used in other industries beyond telecom.  

Enjoy reading this white paper. 

Download white paper
  • find open source networking survey providing key insights in to open source and its role in the evolution of operator’s networks. 

  • learn about Ericsson’s major activities at Open Networking Summit -2019. We plan to talk about how cloud native, Dual-mode 5G cloud core, container cloud distribution platform, cloud native applications & Exposure, and AI will enable the evolution and transformation of 5G networks. 


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR
Balaji Ethirajulu
Balaji Ethirajulu is a senior director of product management at Ericsson driving technologies in the areas of open source, automation, orchestration, NFV, SDN, 5G, cloud native, edge computing, networking and the IoT. He joined Ericsson in 1994 and has more than 25 years of experience in product management, technology strategy, marketing, engineering, and professional services covering telecom, enterprises and other vertical industries. Over the years Ethirajulu has worked in many technology areas, including IP, radio (3G and 4G), IMS, mobile core, OSS, network management and service assurance systems. He holds an MBA (Hons.) from the University of Dallas in the US and a B.E. in electronics and telecommunication engineering from Coimbatore Institute of Technology in India.
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